France votes to continue Libyan military campaign

12th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

The French parliament voted Tuesday to continue France's intervention in Libya, where it has spearheaded the Western diplomatic and military response to the crisis in the north African country.

Nearly 500 deputies from President Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing majority and the opposition Socialists voted to continue the campaign, with just 27 lawmakers voting against.

The vote came as French and Libyan officials on Tuesday talked up the chances of negotiating Moamer Kadhafi's withdrawal from power and an end to the conflict wracking his country, after months of military stalemate.

The French upper house of parliament, the Senate, was also expected to back continuing intervention in a vote later Tuesday.

The parliamentary vote was a measure required by the French constitution as the military operations in Libya, which began on March 19, were about to enter their fifth month.

A Libyan government spokesman said Tripoli "regretted" the result of the vote, adding that Libya had hoped French deputies would have been able to examine the situation without listening to the "lies" of their government and of the media.

© 2011 AFP

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